Walking Together After Goodbye
Do you dread this? You dread this. We all dread this. After bumping into somebody on the street, whether they’re a friend or acquaintance, there are few things worse than ending up going the same direction after you’ve already said goodbye.
My usual joke is “We can’t talk anymore since we already said goodbye!” which just goes to show how insane we/ I become in awkward situations like this. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve even gone out of my way or waited around longer so as not to have to walk the same direction as someone I’ve already said goodbye to. Sheesh, this is the worst.
Making New Friends
From the time we’re kids until we go to college, making friends is easy as pie. You typically have a lot in common with the people around you, things to talk about, reasons to hang out. Then the real world comes along, and the game has totally changed. Do you befriend your coworkers? Go up to strangers at bars to strike up conversations? What about those guys in the apartment next door that you always see in the elevator? Turns out the popular millennial phrase “No new friends” is based more in a shared sense of awkwardness than in loyalty.
One example that Wait But Why points out is the Work Acquaintance Trap, or those early stages of getting to know somebody around the office. After initially hitting it off with somebody you see on a regular basis, you may feel like things are headed somewhere, but ultimately there comes a moment in which you both realize there just isn’t much more to talk about without making a large leap into actually trying to be friends. Most of the time, this sizzles out into a mutual acknowledgement that there’s just nothing left to be said.
Making New Friends Part 2
Perhaps what makes forming new friendships so hard is the big leap we have to take between meeting someone new and learning to feel comfortable and be yourself around that person. At first, you have to follow societal norms, which can often be repetitive and mundane, before you actually start learning about each other and establishing a sense of trust and confidence.
Not for a while will you be able to act normal, that is, how you act around your oldest friends, which in most cases means acting weird. Yeah, it’s tough to make new friends. My advice? Be yourself from the start.